Saturday, July 29, 2006

What? No Global Warming questions? Evolution?

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

Glad I passed. Was worried about a few. I'll bet cha Kelley B will get 6 out of 8 correct because he'll over think 2 of them. Luckily I remembered who this was written for. ?!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Abandoned Sub Base

But where are the nuclear wessels? See the whole set here
From Boing Boing

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Word for the day: Dubyatross.

"The Dubyatross! Don't hang that cursed Dubyatross around my neck! cried the Republican

Why are Republicans running away from George W. Bush? Because they are afraid of having the Dubyatross hung around their neck.

The origins of this word? Eli! Of Multi Medium One of my 29 readers here at Spocko's Brain! I first spotted this in his comment over at First Draft when talking about Ohio Senator Mike DeWine dodging opportunities to be seen with the President.

I'm expecting this word will take off like blogosphere or blogtopia (TM Skippy)
And we saw the birth pangs of the word! Future historians take note.

Eli is on a bit of a role these days after chatting up Gazillionaires. And I don't care what Kenosha Kid says, he CAN'T BE STOPPED!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

What Did You Expect, America?

by SusanG At Daily Kos

Would you hire a babysitter who hates children and thinks they should be eliminated? Or who declares for years in your hearing that children are irritants who should be starved to be small, unseen and mute?

Would you hire cops who think laws are stupid and useless and should be abolished?

Would you hire a conductor for your orchestra who believes music itself an abomination?

Then why would you hire - and you did hire them, America; they are your employees, after all, not your rulers, despite their grandiose pretensions - members of a political party who think government is useless, ineffective, bloated and untrustworthy?

You've hired for your kitchen the chef who spits in your food because he despises preparing meals.

You've hired for your yardwork the gardener who sets out to kill your roses to demonstrate his assertion that they will die in your climate.

You've hired for your office the accountant who's staked his career on proving no accurate books can be kept.

In electing Republicans, America, you put people in charge of institutions they overtly, caustically loathe and proudly proclaim should not exist. Good thinking, USA, and stellar results: Katrina, Iraq, Medicare D, trade and budget deficits, mine disasters and on and on and on and ...

Conservatives have declared officially for decades that they hate public programs and love private business. Why then, do Americans profess shock when these same people run the public credit card up to bunker-busting levels to line the pockets of friendly corporations, leaving taxpayers - current and the as-yet unborn - the bill? It's the dine and ditch mentality writ large, and American citizens are the unfortunate waiters having their lowly pay docked to cover the deadbeat loss - and their future grandchildren's pay docked as well.

We are witnessing an orchestrated, unprecedented transfer of public wealth to private pockets, a national one-party feeding frenzy that's making beggars and beseechers of us all, and yet many Americans stand around muttering in a daze of semi-apathetic befuddlement about gosh darn how did all this come to be and how sure as shit, uh-huh, those Republicans shore were right, government doesn't do a the little guy a damn bit of good, no sirree bob. Better drown it some more. Cut them taxes, privatize something, anything, pronto!

Kee-rist on a pogo stick.

If you put people in charge of running a project they are ideologically committed to proving a failure, it will fail.

The rest here (link)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Friday Funny Video: Kevin Smith on Superman and giant Spiders

WARNING: This video CONTAINS MULTIPLE SWEAR WORDS and other OBSCENE and INDECENT speech, however there are no calls for the hanging of real people. If you click on this video be advised that is what you are going to hear. I mean of course you couldn't say these words on broadcast radio, you would be finded or fired. Because as we all know there are rules about speech on commercially supported broadcast radio because of its unique nature which differs from other mediums.

As you know, I try only to share videos that I find actually funny. I usually like to feature ones that make you laugh so hard you are in tears. So I don't always post one. This video is funny, maybe not tear inducing funny, but funny and I REALLY needed a few laughs this week.

BTW, I LOVED the movie Superman. Especially the beginning when he is discovering his powers and having fun with them. The movie has a mythic almost spiritual quality that I really enjoyed. I also thought it was pretty damn funny.

Someone already did something like this, but one day I'll do a post: "How Karl Rove would "Swift Boat" Superman."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Irrefutable Evidence to the Contrary?

When faced with irrefutable evidence to the contrary, people with an apocalyptic worldview redouble their efforts to defend their views. In these days of Rapture Readiness, interesting reading but it really applies to all sorts of people and how they interact with the world.

From Harper's Magazine August 2006, Bryant Urstadt.

"This odd paradox was partially explained in 1956 by a trio of sociologists from the University of Minnesota, led by Leon Festinger. In When Prophecy Fails, Festinger and his co-authors explained that a committed believer, faced with irrefutable evidence contradicting his belief--with what Festinger called a "discomfirmation"--would redouble rather than diminish his efforts to defend his view. Stranger yet, the more harshly reality dealt with a belief, the more feverishly the believer would work to convert others."

As Festinger writes: "A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point."

Another interesting observation, what do you tell your followers when you have been proven wrong? Claim you have received a new message that clarifies the earlier information. Nice trick.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

To Nancy Abramson: Executive Director of Radio Networks, Dow Jones and Company

Dear Ms. Abramson:
nancy . abramson @ dowjones . com

I'm still waiting for a reply to my letter of July 6th. I understand you might have missed it, but if you Google your own name you'll find it that way, it's kind of hard to miss.

Since you declined to answer me, maybe one of the editors at Dow Jones read about Melanie Morgan's calls for the hanging of your journalists in Joe Conason's Salon article or followed the link from Poynter and emailed you and asked, "Hey is it true we sponsor the woman who called for Glenn to be hanged?" If you won't answer my serious, well-documented letter, shouldn't they at least get an answer? I could publish it here so people who don't subscribe to the WSJ can read it too.

I know that a bunch of you were out of the office for the 4th but really Ms. Abramson, it's been seven business days. And as John Fund said on the Melanie Morgan show, everyone in New York city knows Morgan's name now, she is the talk of the town!

And speaking of Fund, I didn't address the letter to him. He isn't in charge of your program for radio stations. I believe you are. I also copied the people Morgan said "Hang 'em!" to: Glenn Simpson and Paul Steiger, as well as your CEO, Richard Zannino and the folks at the LA Times and a few others who wrote about this.

Right now there are a bunch of people writing advertisers of KSFO telling them they shouldn't be associated with Ms. Morgan or her co-host who calls for AP reporters to commit mass suicide. I would think they would look to you for your actions. If you don't defend your own reporters why should they? Could it be that they care more for the lives of journalists than you do?

Did you at least demand an apology? Now maybe you have cut some back room deal with Ms. Morgan where everyone joked and laughed about hanging and electrocution and she apologized for calling for Glenn's hanging. Where she said something like, "I retract my comments." (which is interesting since she earlier very vehemently said "I retract NOTHING". Or she said something like, "You know that part where I called you all equally guilty of treasonous behavior, well I didn't mean the Wall Street Journal even though I explicitly said the Wall Street Journal."

You see Ms. Abramson I really need to see something in writing where you explain letting KSFO off the hook for calling for Glenn's hanging. Where you explain to me, and Glenn and the rest of the editors, your support of KSFO. Maybe your communications people have some boilerplate form you can use. Like, "We support radio hosts who call for the hanging of our reporters on commercially supported broadcast radio because our reporters aren't really of much value to Dow Jones and Company. Inciting violence directed toward our editors is no big deal since we really need to reach the listeners of KSFO radio since there are no other ways to reach them. We have no choice but to sponsor them. We are in charge of the program but our hands are tied. Also, bloggers who defend said reporters are meanies who clearly are beneath notice."

I'm looking forward to your reply,

Ms. Abramson: It has been pointed out to me that the tone of this letter is rather snippy. You might actually be working hard to sever the relationship with KSFO and that process takes time.
I wrote this note after listening to yet another sound clip of Ms. Morgan joking about execution of editors. This time with Ann Coulter. It was rather upsetting to me and I was frustrated I hadn't heard back from you. I shouldn't have assumed you haven't responded because you don't care. You may be working very hard on this issue and I appreciate you taking this situation seriously.


Monday, July 17, 2006

Rightwing Mind Readers

I love a typical set up from the Rightwing Arguer's Club ™. "The left thinks...(insert thing they want to say "the left" thinks) Or "The left secretly hopes that..."

Besides the fact that the left is not a monolithic group (neither is the right for that matter), it is just a silly premise. And Rusty Shackleford over in the comments section of Media Matters points that out.

the point

the point is that many of you secretly hope coulter keeps it up and spouts more of her patented rhetoric, even though you rant and rave on these message boards of how offended and revolted you are. when in fact you can then elevate her and say "well, she speaks for all conservatives, now doesn't she?".

however, i am not naive enough to think the right doesn't do the same thing with some of the left bomb-throwers.

- right ON / Monday July 17, 2006 02:36:03 PM EST
- Reply to this comment / Flag this comment

Hey Righty

the point is that many of you secretly hope coulter keeps it up and spouts more of her patented rhetoric, even though you rant and rave on these message boards of how offended and revolted you are.

Righty, I'm thinking of a number between one and a hundred. What is it?

- rusty shackleford / Monday July 17, 2006 02:39:22 PM EST
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can you really deny that entrenched ideologists from both sides really relish the other sides' bomb throwing personalities? of course they do, because instead of substantive informative debate, the discussion sinks to the lowest common denominator of insults and inflammatory language. you know it's true, even if they all say it isn't so.

- right ON / Monday July 17, 2006 02:43:42 PM EST
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Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong

It was fifty-eight.

- rusty shackleford / Monday July 17, 2006 02:50:58 PM EST
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I was going to say 58.

- worrierking
/ Monday July 17, 2006 02:52:48 PM EST
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It wasn't 58

You're just saying that to mask the identiry of the real number you were thinking, like all the liberals on this site do whenever they want to appear calm but deep down they are really thinking of a hateful number like 57.

- wdm / Monday July 17, 2006 03:14:16 PM EST
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- wdm / Monday July 17, 2006 03:16:19 PM EST
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Are you trying to tell me that both sides don't really think of 57 when they say they're thinking of 58? My larger point is that we should all think of 58. It's sad when either side is really thinking of 57 when they say they think of 58. All I really really want is for both sides to engage in civilized 58, not go back and forth with all this childish 57. The left used to be a viable bunch of 58ers but now, sadly, they are stuck on 57.

- rusty shackleford / Monday July 17, 2006 03:29:32 PM EST
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LOL...but you forgot

...and that's why the Democrats will fail to win back Congress in November.

- wdm / Monday July 17, 2006 03:35:46 PM EST
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58, 57, where did you get that?

Everyone knows the ultimate answer is 42!

- snoopy / Monday July 17, 2006 04:55:53 PM EST
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Either way, your planet is doomed - DOOMED

42? A third-party candidate? Go ahead - THROW YOUR VOTE AWAY.

- rusty shackleford / Monday July 17, 2006 04:57:50 PM EST
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I especially like the references to "Young Frankinstien, The Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy and the Simpsons."

Rusty Shackleford is a very funny person. WDM with the assist.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Magicians have a word for it: Misdirection

From the always sharp, under appreciated David Lazarus in the SF Chronicle.

Budget is a bag full of tricks

In February, President Bush unveiled a $2.77 trillion budget for 2006 that featured a projected deficit of $423 billion. He said at the time that his goal was "to bring greater accountability and transparency to the budget process."

Last week, Bush said his economic policies, including almost $2 trillion in tax cuts, had narrowed this year's estimated budget shortfall from $423 billion to $296 billion -- a $127 billion difference.

"The economy is growing, federal taxes are rising and we're cutting the federal deficit faster than we expected," Bush declared.

Magicians have a word for such sleight of hand: misdirection.

After getting Americans to stare open-mouthed at that $423 billion deficit projection -- the largest amount ever in nominal terms -- the president now reveals a shortfall of nearly $300 billion that he claims represents a triumph of fiscal management.

Back in the real world, however, Americans are left with the harsh reality of another year of life under an ostensibly conservative government that has hacked away at revenue while overseeing a 45 percent increase in federal spending since 2001.

Last year's deficit totaled $318 billion. This year it'll be $296 billion (although that figure could still change). Next year, according to White House estimates, the deficit will shoot back up to $339 billion.

Bush called these latest figures "some good news for the American taxpayer."
Right. Mission accomplished.

The "dialogue of the deaf"

Left Behind Economics; [Op-Ed]

From New York Times Company Jul 14, 2006, Paul Krugman

I'd like to say that there's a real dialogue taking place about the state of the U.S. economy, but the discussion leaves a lot to be desired. In general, the conversation sounds like this:

Bush supporter: ''Why doesn't President Bush get credit for a great economy? I blame liberal media bias.''

Informed economist: ''But it's not a great economy for most Americans. Many families are actually losing ground, and only a very few affluent people are doing really well.''

Bush supporter: ''Why doesn't President Bush get credit for a great economy? I blame liberal media bias.''

To a large extent, this dialogue of the deaf reflects Upton Sinclair's principle: it's difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it. But there's also an element of genuine incredulity. Many observers, even if they acknowledge the growing concentration of income in the hands of the few, find it hard to believe that this concentration could be proceeding so rapidly as to deny most Americans any gains from economic growth.

Read the rest via the most wonderful San Franciso public library system

Simply type in your library card number when you hit the page. You must have a valid library card to do this.

Eli makes a great photo of my future Jag

In addition to being a great political commentator, Eli is also an amazing photographer. Here is shot of the inside of one of the Jags that will soon be part of my collection of spaceships and elegant old fashion internal combustion engine vehicles. Did I ever tell you about the time the Captain tried to drive a stick shift and went into reverse? Funny story.

Check out more shots from his blog and be sure to look at the full size shot on his site, this scaled one doesn't do it justice. Stunningly good work.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The moronic hosts of GOP-connected radio station KSFO

Check out the story in Salon today. (I'm a subscriber, but you can read the story if you aren't by watching a short ad. And subscribe already! It's a great deal!)

The story below is from Joe Conason. Joe is an excellent writer and is number one on Spocko's list of all time great interviews on radio when he challenged Ed Klein on the Al Franken show.

Here is the story from Salon: Read the rest there:

Electrocute Bill Keller! No, hang him!

The moronic hosts of GOP-connected radio station KSFO get big yuks calling for "traitors" in the press to be killed -- all brought to you by Disney.

By Joe Conason

July 14, 2006 While Melanie Morgan debates with Ann Coulter about whether the executive editor of the New York Times should be killed by gas chamber or firing squad, the institutional forces behind the San Francisco radio host deserve to share in the national spotlight now focused on her. Morgan's brand of authoritarian extremism is brought to her radio listeners every day courtesy of the Disney Corp., which owns KSFO-AM -- a station that functions as a mouthpiece and fundraising mechanism for the Republican Party.

[snip] (Check out the end of the story:)

While Morgan modestly bills herself as a fount of "intellect and wit," her brand of fascist vaudeville isn't universally admired. That could be why, according to a blogger and media activist who calls himself Spocko, several KSFO sponsors have canceled their commercials. Yet Morgan and her cronies, straining to keep up with Coulter, seem confident that Disney, ABC Radio and their advertisers love broadcasting the mock electrocution of a New York Times editor. Who cares about journalism or freedom of the press, or even standards of taste? There must be a lot of money to be made in jackboot radio.

Read the whole story at Salon.

And when you are done reading it, buy Joe's book.

KSFO hosts joke about the electrocution death of Bill Keller

Sent to Tom Tomorrow, creator of "This Modern World"

Dear Tom:

This clip is especially for your penguin friend Sparky in which Ms. Morgan's co-host imitates the sounds of Bill Keller of the New York Times in the electric chair "Ol' Sparky"

Here is one from Ms. Morgan calling for the editors who wrote the story about the financial tracking program to be hanged. Note: There are no qualifications for a trial or conviction, just "Hang 'em!"

Her other co-host suggests the editors at the AP commit mass suicide. What prompted this comment? They did a story about Cindy Sheehan's hunger strike.
Do you think that she is just going after the NY Times? Nope.
"All of you people are equally guilty of treasonous behavior."

Finally she is right and confident and those damn facts won't get in her way.

These people depress me.

Lee Rogers, KSFO ABC/Disney Radio host calls for the mass suicide of AP reporters

UPDATE: Looking for Lee Rogers? Did he just say something on KSFO 560 AM that was so outrageous that you were stunned? Want to complain to the FCC or KSFO? Argue with him? Write him? Go ahead. Email here. Phone number here.

But it's pretty clear no letters and calls to a station that was conceived to promote this kind of talk will have any impact. The hosts delete your emails and brag about pissing you off. They know there is pretty much nothing they can say that is bad enough for them to be reprimaned, fined or fired. So if you want your opinion to have any impact, it's time to write the advertisers and go further up the the money chain to KSFO's radio's parent company, ABC Radio Disney.

Create a letter, send it to an advertiser, copy me (spockosemail @ gmail . com) and I'll send it on to other advertisers and the people within the organization that need to hear your voice. This is commerically supported broadcast radio, and some advertisers, when they become aware of what these hosts are saying just don't want to be associated with these people anymore. So let them know.

You see most advertisers have NO IDEA what these people are saying on the air. When they find out they are as shocked as you are. Ask the advertisers to stop supporting the radio hosts with their ad dollars.

Sent June 30th

Dear AP Editors and Management:

On Thursday morning June 29th Lee Rogers of the ABC/Disney radio station KSFO 560 am said, "Why don't you dopes at the Associated Press do the world a favor and commit mass suicide?" ( Windows media audio clip )

This comment followed an AP story about a hunger strike.

Lee Rogers is the morning co-host of Melanie Morgan, who has recently called for the execution of Bill Keller of the New York Times and the hanging of the news media that published articles about a Treasury Department program designed to monitor international financial transactions for terrorist activity. ( audio clip)

KSFO radio hosts have a history of insulting journalists , having recently accused the LA Times of doctoring their photos. The LA Times even asked for a formal on air correction from Morgan, however I don't believe she ever gave one.

Now I'm sure that AP has some financial arrangements and licenses with ABC Radio in order to read their stories. Since it appears KSFO's radio hosts and management don't find it valuable, perhaps their AP feed should be terminated. ( Of course if they desire to restart the service their might be some sort of additional restarting fee.)

If you cut off their feed and curtail their ability to read your stories on the air, ABC Radio would save money, KSFO radio hosts wouldn't have to listen to AP stories being read and the AP can provide their stories to the stations that appreciate the hard journalistic work the AP editors do.

Of course there may be some people at ABC Radio management or the ABC News division who value having access to the AP feed and wish to treat an important news provider with respect, but on-air evidence at KSFO shows that clearly they don't value it or your people.

I writing you because I just thought that someone should stand up for the hardworking journalists at the AP.


ABC Radio
John Hare, President
Mike Connolly, SVP sales
John Rosso, SVP Affiliate Relations and Business Administration

Editor and Publisher
Greg Mitchell, Editor
Dave Astor,Senior Editor (Syndicates)
Editor and Publisher

Media Matters
Duncan Black

First Draft

The American Prospect
Greg Sargent


Nancy Abramson: Melanie Morgan called for the death of your editors. Why does the WSJ sponsor her radio program?

Sent July 7, 2006.

Richard Zannino, CEO, Dow Jones and Company
Nancy Abramson, Executive Director of Radio Networks, Dow Jones and Company
Paul E. Steiger, Managing Editor, The Wall Street Journal
Glenn Simpson, Wall Street Journal reporter

Dear Mr. Zannino, Ms. Abramson, Mr. Steiger and Mr. Simpson:

"Hang 'em!" That's what Melanie Morgan of ABC/Disney station KSFO said on June 27th about the news media who wrote stories on the Treasury department program to track terrorist financial data. [ audio link] The editors Ms. Morgan wanted dead include Journal reporter Glenn Simpson who wrote your June 23rd story.

That comment follows her appearance on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, where Ms. Morgan seriously insisted that Bill Keller and his associates at the New York Times should go to jail for treason for writing about the financial tracking program. [Hardball audio and transcript ] In the SF Chronicle she did qualify her statement somewhat to mention a trial, but also suggested that hanging was too good for them, and hoped to see Bill Keller choke to death in the gas chamber. [ America Prospect link] Then on her June 30th show she made it very clear she included the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times in her indictment. "All of you people are equally guilty of treasonous behavior." [ audio]

I'm writing you because the Wall Street Journal currently has a financial relationship with KSFO and the Lee Rogers/Melanie Morgan program. It appears you pay KSFO to run a daily WSJ segment with Buck Mcquillan (sp). These segments also seem to have other sponsors such as Chevrolet [ audio includes a co-host insulting sponsor Chevy]. By sponsoring the show you lend your credibility to KSFO and its radio hosts. In return, they call for the hanging death of your reporters for doing their job.

I'd like to suggest that you stop sponsoring the Rogers / Morgan show and completely withdraw your advertising dollars from the station. The reason for this response vs. simply requesting an on-air and written apology from Morgan is that she and Rogers have a history of impugning the journalistic integrity of newspapers . When the LA Times asked for a correction, not only was their request ignored, Rogers and Morgan later increased the violent tone of their rhetoric. Most recently on June 29th Morgan's co-host called for the AP editors to "commit mass suicide." [ audio]

I want to make clear this is not about Ms. Morgan's speech on commercially supported broadcast radio. She might not have exceeded the FCC's rules against incitement of violence, which has gotten other on-air hosts fired (although I believe she has violated that standard), or even the incredibly lax guidelines of her own station.

This is about the Wall Street Journal's advertising department and its publisher standing up for the work of its journalists by choosing where to spend its advertising dollars. If you continue to financially support people who hate what you do and want your reporters dead, you are giving implicit approval to those comments.

Although it is tempting to dismiss Ms. Morgan as yet another pundit unschooled in the process and method of journalism, she spent years as a researcher, reporter and anchor for ABC and –when expedient –reminds people of her 30 years as a journalist (even when in the next breath she disassociates herself from journalists and calls for the death of those "in the media"). [ audio], Therefore presumably Ms. Morgan knows that if the Bush Administration thought the story would truly hurt the nation's security, they would have gone to court to enjoin its publication (if they actually thought they could succeed in court). Yet as pointed out your June 30th editorial, "What Journal editors did know is that they had senior government officials providing news they didn't mind seeing in print. If this was a 'leak,' it was entirely authorized." But those details don't matter to Ms. Morgan who no longer has any need to report information accurately.

You may also think or be told that she was "just joking." However, Ms. Morgan has gone to great lengths to point out how serious she is on this matter, so I believe it calls for a serious response from your organization.

Finally, I--and I'm sure your editors--would like to know your decision and the reasoning behind it if you decide to continue to sponsor Ms. Morgan's radio show. I know there is a clear wall between advertising and editorial, but where you spend your promotion dollars sends a message to your staff and your readers. If you choose her program over the plethora of other choices to reach your potential audience the message I'm getting is, "We support Ms. Morgan's call for the hanging death of Glenn Simpson and our journalists. Furthermore, we will PAY the salary of the person calling for their deaths."

Please support your own news section journalists and sever your relationship with KSFO. Morgan/Rogers and KSFO are simply not worthy of a relationship with an organization with the integrity of the Wall Street Journal.


Dow Jones and Company
Amy Wolfcale, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Dow Jones and Company

Nancy Abramson, Executive Director of Radio Networks, Dow Jones
Susan O'Connell, Director, Affiliate Relations
Chuck Fishman, Producer, The Wall Street Journal This Morning

Los Angeles Times
Josh Meyer and Greg Miller, Times Staff Writers
Managing Editors: Douglas Frantz (News)
David Garcia Director, Media Relations

The American Prospect,
Greg Sargent

Michael A. Jackson -- GM North America Vice President, Marketing and Advertising
Megan Stooke-- Director, Advertising & Sales Promotion Chevrolet

ABC Radio
John Hare, President
John Rosso, SVP Affiliate Relations and Business Administration
Sheri Yee

Media Matters
Duncan Black

First Draft

Editor and Publisher
Greg Mitchell, Editor
Dave Astor, Senior Editor (Syndicates)


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Was Jesus pro gun?

So I was zooming around on the Internet and I found someone who might have had some expertise on a question I had, Missionary Man!

So I asked him my question:

"Was Jesus pro-hand gun?"

I'm serious. This sprung from the mind of my local (SF) talk radio "Theocon", who seems to think that when Jesus sent out the many that he said something about taking their swords with them. He concludes that the sword was "the handgun of the day" At this point he says that if Jesus WASN'T pro-hand gun he would have said to NOT take their swords. That he missed a "teaching moment" for his supposed non-violent views.

What say you? Any sources you can direct me to so that I can slap down this nonsense? Maybe you can check with the Military Science Dept to get their take.

Here are a few of his comments. Read the whole post here:

1) In the very book I mentioned in my post, John Howard Yoder's Politics of Jesus, Yoder explains that all of the "weapons" mentioned by Jesus in that biblical passage are defensive. The word for sword in the original text is more appropriately translated as "dagger" and refers to the short-bladed sword used for defense. I believe he also mentions shields. He does not mention the long sword or anything else used for attack. Perhaps Jesus was pro-bullet-proof vest.

2) Mr. Sussman should at the very least be prepared to make arguments that take into consideration the wider context of the Gospels, and specifically the incident in Gethsemane when Peter cuts off the ear of the soldier and Jesus rebukes him - not just by arguing that his particular arrest needed to go unimpeded to fulfill God's will or Hebrew prophecies, but with the explicitly general admonishment that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword.

3) Since Jesus himself did not write, in order to gain insight into what he communicated to his followers and what the scriptures themselves mean, we must look at the church that produced the New Testament. That disciple Church, at the same time that it was telling stories like that of Jesus sending his disciples forth with swords, was suffering horrific persecution and it's members refused to defend themselves with swords.

Thanks Missionary Man! (Doesn't that sound like a super hero's website?) Again, if you are interested, read the whole post here.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Silly Conservative arguing tricks

This is from Actor212 (whom I know from the Majority Report blog.) Nice guy, funny too. I think he is really someone famous like Tim Robbins, but he will never admit it. (see how I pump up the celebrity factor? I'm learning from the our pop culture.)

His blog is Simply Left Behind .

An object lesson, forwarded to me by one of the ten smartest men in America (and a liberal):

Liberal: The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: No, it doesn’t.

Liberal: Yes, it does. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: What about Guam? What about that Guam, huh? Or the
Virgin Islands?

Liberal: Those are territories, not states. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: Oh, so you’re saying those don’t count?

Liberal: Yes.

Conservative: Oh, so the people there don’t count? They’re not good enough, huh? I thought you liberals wanted everybody to be counted.

Liberal: No, I said the territories don’t count as states. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: You’re really something, you know that? You liberals are always going on about how all of us conservatives are racists, how we don’t care about anybody but people who look like us. But you don’t even want to count the blacks who live in Guam as Americans.

Liberal: First of all, I never said all conservatives are racists.

Conservative: Yes, you did.

Liberal: No, I didn’t.

Conservative: Michael Moore says it.

Liberal: I’ve never heard him say that.

Conservative: Yes, he does! He most definitely does!

Liberal: Look, I don’t know what he says. That’s beside the point. And the people in Guam “count,” whatever that means. I don’t even know who lives in Guam; I don’t know the first thing about Guam. I’m just saying Guam isn’t a state ­ it’s a territory. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: What about Puerto Rico?

Liberal: What?

Conservative: What about Puerto Rico, huh? You love all those Mexicans coming across the border stealing our jobs ­ you must LOVE Puerto Rico, right?

Read the rest here:

I wrote a more serious take on this last December called How to Talk to wing nuts

Friday, July 07, 2006

I love July 4th parades

One of the favorite things on this planet are 4th of July parades. I've been working like crazy this week but I was able to take some time off and watch a parade.

Little girls in red white and blue bandanas. Fire Trucks, marching bands, kids on bikes with red white and blue crepe paper in there spokes. Shriners in their funny little cars.

We all stood up and put our hands over our hearts when the flag went by. After the flag went by we saw the Veterans of Foreign Wars we all applauded. They were followed by the Veterans of Unjust Foreign Wars, we all applauded them too.

Next was a float on the Bill of Rights sponsored by the ACLU. People cheered for that one. Following the ACLU float was one honoring the journalists who had lost their lives covering wars. I got choked up thinking about that.

Then we had people on stilts and a few more fire trucks.

It was a great day.